Celebrations in Public Spaces
In the everyday life of the city, there are the community celebrations but also the family celebrations that take place on the street. These are linked either to a social, cultural or religious event in our ever-so-rapidly modernising calendars where the coloured cells for holidays (our celebrations!) have been our constants, those constants that have kept us bonded together as a family, as a community.
Sometimes, we are out on the streets celebrating with crackers because it is Diwali time! The colours of the Holi bazaar are a prelude to the festival celebrations in our front yards and in the street spaces just beyond. In the month of Ramzan, the street space on every “mosque road” becomes the ‘place for namaz’ or the ‘place for dates & cut-fruit’ that help us break the holy fasting routine. Before Christmas, one sees shoppers buying festoons and decorations for the upcoming festival. On certain occasions, there are the rathas or the temple cars that carry the deity around the temple precinct with devotees moving and chanting together. And, there is the marriage procession where the family dances through the streets rejoicing at the moment. In each of our celebrations, there is a coming together of people to reinstate a belief in their faith, in themselves and in each other.
In this competition, we invited entries that recorded through INTERVIEWS (a conversation with grandparents, parents or anyone else) or REFLECTIVE WRITINGS on what celebrating on the streets meant to them. What are the memories of a street or perhaps, a maidan, or a terrace celebration that they have? In the past, how did the towns or the cities accommodate these festivals? Who supported them, who facilitated them? What has changed today? What are the street celebrations we know about or have engaged in ourselves? Why do they matter to us?
We would like to thank all those who participated in this competition. THANK YOU Chaitrali Moghe, Himanshi Shah, Kajal Patel, Kaveri Goswami, Raj Kishor Samjiskar and Tanvi Avinash Gavhankar.